December 20, 2009 |
What seemed written in the stars was rewritten by the guys wearing them. The perfect-season bid of the New Orleans Saints was derailed Saturday by the Dallas Cowboys, a franchise that wasn't supposed to be able to win in December and certainly not against the team-of-destiny Saints and their No. 1-ranked offense. But the Cowboys did win, picking up a huge 24-17 victory at the Superdome that tightened their grip on a playoff berth and might have been the best performance by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
January 15, 2010 |
Breaking down the Baltimore-Indianapolis matchup in the AFC divisional playoffs: Almost perfect The last time the Colts played a home game they were 14-0 and, to the disappointment and frustration of their fans, opted to rest Peyton Manning for most of the second half of a loss to the Jets. Now the pressure is on Indianapolis to prove it was the correct choice to sit players. In some ways, the pressure on the Colts at 14-2 is greater than it would have been at 16-0, because just about everyone thinks they should have fought hard all the way through.
December 23, 2009 |
With two weeks remaining in the NFL's regular season, there are still dozens of scenarios that will put teams in or out of the playoffs. But New England and Cincinnati can find comfort in those four little words: Win and we're in. The Patriots play host to Jacksonville on Sunday and can clinch the AFC East with a win or tie. The same goes for the Bengals, who play host to Kansas City with the AFC North within reach. "We still have the opportunity to obtain our first and No. 1 goal, and that's to win this division," Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis said.
January 7, 2010 |
During their Super Bowl years a decade ago, the St. Louis Rams were called "the Greatest Show on Turf." Now they're the greatest show under turf. The Lambs (1-15) were buried, 6-28, by San Francisco on Sunday to win the Bottom Ten title over Detroit (2-14), which deserves a career achievement award for going 2-30 over the last two years. St. Louis' offensive offense averaged just under 11 points per game, lowest in the league. The Lambs were even outscored this season by Oakland, which had the distinction of scoring one third-quarter touchdown all season.
February 6, 2010 |
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday that the league is working hard to reach a new labor agreement, and called "absolutely false" the suggestion by the players' union that team owners stand to benefit from a work stoppage. "You don't make money by shutting down your business," Goodell said at his annual state-of-the-league news conference. "It's a bad scenario for everybody. I can assure you the ownership and I believe the players -- in talking to individual players -- want to get an agreement and want to work to do that.
November 17, 2009
Three calls that worked Dec. 31, 1967, "The Ice Bowl," NFL championship. Trailing the Dallas Cowboys, 17-14, with third and goal on the one-yard line and 16 seconds left, Packers quarterback Bart Starr calls Green Bay's final timeout and talks to coach Vince Lombardi. Instead of the expected pass, Starr runs a quarterback sneak and scores a touchdown for a 21-17 win and their third straight NFL title. Nov. 3, 2003, New England vs. Denver. With the Patriots trailing the Broncos by a point and facing fourth down from their one late in the fourth quarter, Coach Bill Belichick tells Lonie Paxton to snap the ball out of the end zone for an intentional safety.
January 5, 2010 |
First of four breakdowns on the first round of the NFL playoffs: Mr. Everything Jets Coach Rex Ryan wants to take pressure off rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez . One way to accomplish that is to find alternate -- and sometimes novel -- ways to move the ball, other than throwing it. New York has that in Brad Smith , who played quarterback at Missouri and is now listed as a receiver behind Braylon Edwards . Smith has played...
January 3, 2010
Al Michaels serves as the play-by-play announcer and Cris Collinsworth provides the color commentary for tonight's game (Cincinnati at N.Y. Jets, 5:15 p.m., Channel 4): Michaels says ... "I would hope that the Bengals would play their first-line guys for an extended period of time. I think the league has an issue here with games like this, and it was exacerbated by what took place in Indianapolis last week. You can't have too many of these games before fans start to say, 'This is ridiculous.
February 24, 2010 |
The No. 1 question heading into this week's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis is just that -- the No. 1 question. Who will emerge from the combine with the inside track on becoming the top pick in April's draft? Defense is likely to dominate the top of this draft (April 22-24), and the next step in the evaluation process begins Thursday when coaches, scouts and general managers gather at Lucas Oil Stadium to test players. The three top players heading into the combine come from that side of the ball: defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma, and safety Eric Berry of Tennessee.
November 26, 2009 |
After his team's 38-37 loss to Detroit, Cleveland Coach Eric Mangini accused the Lions of faking injuries to slow down the Browns' no-huddle offense. "Perhaps Eric Mangini is faking being a head coach," a reader wrote to the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer. You'd think the reader wasn't proud that the Browns were No. 1 in the Bottom Ten. As for Mangini's charges, an analysis of the game film found that Lions defensive players were granted injury timeouts six times -- and each time the injured player later returned to the game.